We’re honored to welcome Valérie Louis to the blog this week. A mother, business owner and Creative Director, Valérie is a wealth of knowledge for following your passions, building a powerhouse brand, and remaining authentic through it all. Without further adieu, here’s Valérie!
Hi, my name is Valérie Louis, I was born and raised in Haiti, I’m passionate about Design, Culture and Spirituality. I have a 16-year-old daughter Yaël and I’m the owner and Creative Director of Yaël & Valérie a Haitian company creating fabrics, wallpapers and home accessories inspired by the warmth of the Caribbean and its African Cultural Heritage.
How did you get into your industry? Was this always where you saw yourself?
At a very young age, I love designs. I used to change my room at least 5 times a year because I was very affected by the colors and the visuals.
As I grew up, I got more and more connected to my country, my culture, my roots, my story and my history. However, I came to the realization that I couldn’t find visuals that reflected these, whether in fabrics or in wallpapers.
This was my turning point. My Eureka moment. I knew then that I found a great idea.
Collections and images started to flow…They still come very fast to me.
An abundance of ideas, colors, themes washing ashore my blank canvases.
By the time we launched the company Yaël & Valérie in September 2018, we already had more than a hundred patterns inspired by our exotic nature, culture and traditions.
From your experience, what are the three key factors or strategies for starting and establishing a brand?
It’s all about Authenticity.
First key is to identify it within you, look at your past, decisions, passion, what gives you goosebumps… connect the dots. Only YOU can determine the uniqueness of your product.
Second is to stick to this authenticity despite the trends.
Third is to know how you can heal and inspire with it.
What’s an accomplishment you consider to be the most significant in your career so far?
The reactions of our clients all over the world, when they see and receive our products, they use the words: love, inspire, obsessed and it melts my heart every single time.
What’s a failure that turned into a blessing?
I don’t recall any failure in my life, only lessons which are undoubtedly blessing in disguise because where I am is exactly where I’m supposed to be.
I wake up and I first Thank God, I lay down and Relax until I’m fully aware (this is my type of meditation J), I write down my dreams and my goals for the day before heading to my phone.
Who’s an aspiring woman who inspires you?
I was born on March 8th, the international celebratory date of all women around the world, from all walks of life. I deeply believe that it was not by mistake. That it was a calling for me to embrace our feminism.
I’m inspired by every woman who touched my life : My family, my friends, my colleagues, the women in Haiti (they’re particularly strong and resilient) and the women all over the world who fought and are still fighting to win for me so I could believe in my dreams and stand free.
Actually, the first collection we created Past & Connection, is honoring the Strength of Historical and Modern Women.
But my greatest teacher is this little woman, my daughter Yaël. She’s the reason why I want to be the best version of myself professionally and personally.
What’s one piece of career advice you’d give a young person looking to follow in your footsteps?
Be inspired but be yourself. Everything is possible with patience, determination and purpose.
When you’re not building your business, what can we find you doing?
Spending time with my daughter, cooking and cleaning – it’s my new workout nowadaysJ ; Observe everything around me, writing about my life, my lessons, my dreams, new collections, new home accessories (hahaha I can’t help it.)
Three words that describe you? Perfectionist – Driven – Optimist
Three products you can’t live without?
– Clarins products (night and day cream, hand cream, oil… I’m obsessed with skincare)
– Korres Olive Blossom fleur d’Olivier Eau de toilette (Obsessed!)
– and since I love writing, the perfect pen LePen
Dream collaboration? All the brands and people I love at first sight: Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware, Ikea, Clarins, Apple, Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes 🙂
Trendy or classic? Classic with a zest of Trendy
#1 place on your travel bucket list? India
Go to drink order? Frozen Lemonade no sugar
Favorite restaurant? My favorite meals are eaten in Haiti at my friends Sabrina and Sylvie @haitibites and awesome @papayerestaurant
Where can people follow you? @yaeletvalerie on Instagram and Facebook